Love or hate it graffiti is part of the everyday urban world. It's a fact that Banksy and other well known street artists, who are now household names, have busted the whole urban art scene wide open, brought it forefront into the public's attention and it seems the room to sit on the fence with an opinion as to whether it is an art-form or vandalism just got a whole lot narrower.
People first started to recognise graffiti as an art form when paint started hitting the NYC subways in the 1970's and 80's. Gangs of graffiti artists known as crews began to develop. When competition between the different crews became rife, it meant the quality of graffiti became much more important than just the quantity of it.
Graffiti however, still to this day remains an illegal art and the city authorities across the globe spend millions every year cleaning it up. Some would question, what exactly is the point of spending time and taking the risk to do an act which will be removed within a few days? Others will argue rules make a boring city, no character or self expression.
Nowadays some people consider that even the simplest thing such as photographing anomalous objects stacked on top of each other constitutes as being an acceptable art-form. While graffiti art in the appreciative eye, simply uses the urban environment as a creative canvas to showcase an innovative talent. So is graffiti, art or vandalism?
Well... the famous saying "art is in the eye of the beholder" cannot be better suited in order to form your own opinion, regardless of what government laws attempt to impose upon you. It is your personal right and privilege to decide yourself, however as such in every art-form there will also be an opposite critic to contradict whatever your view is. The controversy surrounding this debate keeps the scene extremely vibrant and exciting! You are your one and only beholder. It's your choice.
The author of this article is an urban art and a graffiti art promoter.